S.Korea reports highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases

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People wait in line for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at a testing site which is temporarily set up at a public health center in Seoul, South Korea, July 9, 2021. REUTERS/ Heo Ran

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SEOUL, July 22 (Reuters) - South Korea on Thursday reported another daily record of 1,842 coronavirus cases, as it struggles to tame its worst-ever wave of outbreaks amid rising infections nationwide fuelled by the more contagious Delta variant.

The latest numbers include at least 270 sailors on an anti-piracy navy destroyer patrolling the waters off Africa who were flown home on Tuesday after being infected with COVID-19.

Authorities are considering expanding the restrictions imposed for the capital Seoul and neighbouring areas last week, as small clusters continue to emerge nationwide.

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Some 64.3% of the 1,533 domestically transmitted cases came from regions beyond the greater Seoul area, the highest level since the country's first COVID-19 wave erupted from a church in the southeastern city of Daegu.

The numbers for the Seoul metropolitan area have slightly dropped from more than 80% following restrictions such as a ban on gatherings of more than two people after 6 p.m.

Authorities warned against another rally scheduled by the labour union on Friday in Wonju, southeast of Seoul, which could turn into a super spreader event, a Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) official told a briefing.

The union's latest protest on July 3 drew as many as 8,000 participants, defying a government ban and shrugging off warnings. Three demonstrators have so far been tested positive, the official said. read more

South Korea's total infections rose to 184,103 cases with 2,063 deaths, the KDCA data showed. Just over 13% of the 52 million population have been fully vaccinated.

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Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Tom Hogue and Michael Perry

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